Slow Cooker Cranberry Pork Shoulder

at a glance
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Servings 6 to 8 servings

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Not sure what to do with all that leftover cranberry sauce and feeling tired of cooking? Cranberry pork shoulder is the perfect meal that you can throw into the slow cooker that results in a flavorful shredded pork roast.

This Slow Cooker Cranberry Pork Shoulder is a great, healthy way to use up that leftover cranberry sauce while putting a brand new meal together for your friends and family!

Slow Cooker Cranberry Pork Shoulder

Okay, I’ll admit it. This is NOT the prettiest dish I’ve ever posted …but I promise the flavors are on point. When it comes to holiday recipes, I like to divide my efforts up into about 60% healthier dishes that help us replace the old favorites (like green bean casserole, stuffing, and even a gingerbread house) and 40% dishes that help us make use of leftovers. I don’t think I’m alone here, but we ALWAYS have so many leftovers after the holiday! While I do enjoy a rerun plate of Christmas dinner, I also enjoy getting a little creative with the tasty leftover bounty. Using fresh leftovers as a way to help make an entirely new meal is such a fun challenge!

That brings me to today’s post! This Slow Cooker Cranberry Pork Shoulder is carefully designed to help you do the following:

  1. Use up that leftover cranberry sauce.
  2. Make an entirely NEW meal (which can be important if your family does NOT like leftovers).
  3. Spend minimal time in the kitchen (thank you, slow cooker!).

Slow Cooker Cranberry Pork Shoulder

The recipe is simple, but the flavors are BIG. Even if you’re not a huge fan of cranberry sauce, I think you’ll enjoy the final product. The method involves us simply browning a pork shoulder and then placing it in the slow cooker. From there, we cover it in our leftover cranberry sauce, put the lid on, and let it sit for about 4 hours! Once it’s finished cooking, the cranberry sauce will have lost its vibrant red-color, but you’ll be left with tender, flavorful pork just begging to be gobbled up on a bed of (leftover) mashed potatoes.

Note that you can absolutely make this dish from scratch, too! Depending on the size of the pork shoulder, you can feed a crowd with very minimal effort.

I hope you enjoy!

Slow Cooker Cranberry Pork Shoulder

By: Cassy
No ratings yet
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 4 hrs
Servings: 6 to 8 servings


  • 1, 3 to 4 pound bone-in pork shoulder
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter ghee, or avocado oil
  • 1 to 2 cups cranberry sauce
  • fresh cranberries for garnish (optional)
  • fresh Italian parsley for garnish (optional)


  • Sprinkle the salt over both sides of the pork shoulder. Melt the butter in either your oven-safe slow cooker insert or a large frying pan. Add the meat and sear on high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until a light brown sear develops. Flip the meat over and sear for an additional 3 minutes.
  • Transfer the pork to the slow cooker and cover with the cranberry sauce. Cook on high for 4 hours, or until the meat easily falls apart with a fork. Shred the pork with two forks and garnish with the fresh cranberries and parsley, if desired.
  • Serve on a bed of mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Instant Pot Version:
  1. Add oil to instant pot bowl and select sauce button to heat.
  2. Add the seasoned pork roast and sear on all sides, approximately 4 minutes per side.
  3. When roast has been seared on all sides, press Cancel and pour cranberry sauce over pork.
  4. Cover pot, lock on the lid, and set the steam release valve to Sealing
  5. Select the Meat/Stew or Pressure Cook button and set the cook time to 60 minutes.
  6. When the cooking cycle has finished, allow the pot to sit for 10 minutes, and then do a quick release by moving the valve to Venting.
  7. Serve as stated above.

Slow Cooker Cranberry Pork Shoulder

Meet the Author
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Cassy Joy Garcia

HOWDY! I’m Cassy Joy and I am just so happy you’re here. I’m the founder, Editor-in-Chief, and Nutrition Consultant here at Fed and Fit. What started as a food blog back in 2011 has evolved now into so much more.
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  1. Amy K says

    Amy K —  12/22/2016 At 09:21

    Cannot wait to try this! Looks fantastic.

    I also cannot stop listening to your sister’s music on Spotify – thank you for introducing her into my little Wisconsin life! Her music makes me want to visit Texas! 🙂

    • Cassy says

      Cassy —  12/22/2016 At 10:10

      Awww I’m so glad you’re enjoying her music!! She’s got real talent 🙂

  2. Alana says

    Alana —  01/06/2017 At 12:01

    With a husband who loves pulled pork and a mother-in-law dying to get rid over her leftover cranberry sauce, this was GOLD! And we’re about to have our third meal from it. Well done!

  3. Maria cronk says

    Maria cronk —  01/25/2017 At 18:49

    I could eat cranberry dishes like this year round. Love the sweet with savory.

  4. Miranda says

    Miranda —  03/23/2017 At 13:25

    We received a beautiful pork shoulder from Butcher Box and I wanted to do something special with it. This recipe came up when I was searching. However, there were no fresh cranberries or even frozen (without sugar) where we live. So I ended up using organic frozen whole cherries. AMAZING! It is a really special recipe, and I didn’t even use the right fruit! Looking forward to making this when fresh cranberries are available! TY!

    • Cassy says

      Cassy —  05/02/2017 At 06:13

      I’m so glad you liked it, Miranda!